Regional Transportation a Bane

For as long as BU has been around there has been concern expressed about the shamble state of travel in the region. The HoGs are quick to remind us CARICOM/CSME is contingent on free movement of people. To be fair, some progress has been made by amending entry requirements to allow citizens from member states to visit for leisure and work, however, facilitating physical movement whether by air or sea remains a hindrance. The financial weight and mismanagement of LIAT finally caused it to crash. Today the region is without a viable and dependable means of regional transport for people and cargo.

It was interesting to listen to Minister of Tourism uttering words this week about a “high-level- vision for Barbados’ tourism sector with special mention the role of aviation. There is talk about creating a Barbados Aviation Centre of Excellence leading to Barbados being a cargo hub along with repair maintenance and other related activities. The eye opener was when she mentioned of a vision to establish a regional carrier using Singapore Airlines as a model. It goes without saying Barbados will have to push to acquire CAT 1 designation, something BU has posted on for many years. Without CAT 1 designation an airline based in Barbados would not be able to acquire permissions to land in US and other key countries important to flying important air routes. 

The blogmaster agrees conceptually Barbados and regional governments must do a better job to smooth the environment to encourage transportation solutions from private sector. With the demise of LIAT it has brought the matter to a head and there must be a sense of urgency IF the HoGs are committed to a working common market. Maybe the leadership of CARICOM lacks the vision to mirror the OECS who has demonstrated the benefits of a working union. It is ironic the OECS are members of umbrella group CARICOM. The attraction of being a big fish in a small pond continues to feed the megalomania of leaders in the region.

In the OECS ferry services have been used as a transportation option for years. Why has the region been unable to enhance the model to include other countries with a view to create a viable sea transportation option? It is 2022 and what can be honestly stated about the state of regional travel?

Here is a perspective from BU family member Artax:

After the demise of the ‘Windward,’ which used to sail between BGI and SLU…… BGI and SVG, ‘every other week,’ there has been several discussions about a ferry service that would include other regional territories.

In 2018, the World Bank recommended a ferry service that would transport people, vehicles and goods from North to the South of the Caribbean, after completing a preliminary study.
The Bank was also recommended private sector participation be sought in developing the ferry service.

In August 2016, the Daily Nation reported ,that a company registered in Barbados called, ‘Caribbean Ferry Service,’ was in the process of finalising paperwork to operate two vessels, ‘The Dream Jet Express’ and ‘The Opal Jet Express,’ for travel and cargo through the region,
The service was supposed to be initially accessible to passengers from BGI, SVG and SLU. And, eventually, other islands would’ve been added to the itinerary.

I can understand ferry services between Antigua and Montserrat; St. Lucia and Martinique; St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius; Dominica and Guadeloupe…… because those islands are in close proximity to each other.

However, I question the viability of operating a service between Barbados and Anguilla, for example. Or, from Trinidad to Jamaica.

Artax

The George Brathwaite Column – CSME: Benefits for the People

“Since the CSME was inaugurated here in Jamaica 12 years ago, we all agree that much has been accomplished under its regimes. But we have not achieved as much as we should have by now. Major policy decisions and adoption of legal instruments take much too long to be negotiated. We must do more and do it more quickly. The success of the CSME is being judged, by the public, on the basis of our implementation of the measures agreed to, that allow our citizens and businesses to benefit.” (CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at Opening of 39th Meeting, Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, Jamaica, July 4th, 2018)

The Conference of the Heads of Government took centre stage in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Thousands of eyes were not only on the colourful setting, but on the flamboyant smile of Barbados’ newest leader and first female prime minister. Several important agenda items were discussed; commitments were made that are sure to have deeper implications for the Community’s secretariat and its member states. Ambassador LaRocque’s assessment prefacing this article is more than a mouthful; it seemed a call for urgent action.

Significant, was Barbados’ purposeful and energetic input that would summon other leaders to close the existing gaps between the people’s lived realities and the customary side-stepping. It is those types of posturing that have together produced the wide implementation deficit across the region, thereby denying citizens and businesses deserved benefits. Prime Minister Mia Mottley could hardly have stated truer words when in her unassuming way she charged that “political leadership must facilitate and shepherd, not control and stifle. Straight out of the box, the leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) were reminded that it is the region’s people who ought to matter most in policy formulation and delivery.

Within the context of integrated development and the mechanisms affecting the populations of these small countries, Prime Minister Mottley was able to let flow her love, her ideas, and her dedication for wanting to improve the livelihoods of people. While admitting leadership delinquency and tardiness, Miss Mottley suggested that not much had changed or had gone forward over the last 10 years, and that old territorial fears persisted.

Nonetheless, the freshness of Prime Minister Mottley’s speech, although reflective in some areas, channelled the memories of the pioneers of the Caribbean’s regional integration movement. The freedom to think and to explore possibilities that would enhance the region captured the imagination of the listening audience across the CARICOM. Surely, Miss Mottley’s speech could be summed up as a quest to fight for a regionalism in which freedom and opportunity would coexist as a practicality rather than as a convenient posture. This writer, while assessing Miss Mottley’s inaugural remarks to the Conference of CARICOM Heads, recalled Nelson Mandella – the former President of post-apartheid South Africacontending that: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Prime Minister Mottley, by invoking the name of one of Barbados’ National Heroes – the Right Excellent Errol Barrow also took to embracing the true vitality of the Caribbean region. PM Mottley ably asserted Barrow’s bold and undeniable claim that: “the regional integration movement is a fact of daily experience. It is a reality which is lived but which we have not yet been able to institutionalise.” What followed from that point of mindful linkage between formal policies and the formalities affecting people were Miss Mottley’s sharing of genuine will and determination to fix the slack that obtained under her predecessor regarding the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

Indeed, and as if to inspire the leaders and to give credence to the voices of the people, PM Mottley challenged the Conference of Heads to “give our people the scope to express their natural inclination of togetherness and inclusion in ways that are productive and beneficial to the region.” Miss Mottley touched on the need for the region to increase on its wide and varying sectoral successes. She wittingly and excitedly went from the need for sharing information to building resources and resilience; she aptly spoke of the freedom to turn away from prohibitive regulation to embracing a facilitative regimen inclusive of capable transportation enhancements.

Additionally, the Barbadian leader was adamant on the essentiality of giving vital and productive expression to the region’s youth through the global and technological highways. Her insistence was for renewed vigour regarding investment flows and cross-border partnerships among Caribbean people and entities. Miss Mottley’s presence and intervention symbolised precisely the things for educating, informing, and motivating the region’s people.

Mia Mottley courted challenge confidently and put her intent into the open arena of CARICOM. She advocated for the expansion of opportunities for Caribbean people advising that it is responsible and prudent to address issues on the process to verify Certificates of Recognition of CARICOM Skills Qualification. Mottley bemoaned the length of time and the discouragement that became part of the process for accreditation and verification. She noted that in this contemporary age of technological advancements and digital communications, it is regrettable that the regional labour market should be saddled with mechanisms which were more handicap than optimal for the people. Miss Mottley advocated that “we must be able to do better at real-time communication, particularly as we go forward in the issuance of skills certificates and diplomas that will allow for more ease of verification.”

On the urging of things that would have occurred in Barbados, Miss Mottley was unafraid but forthright in putting the issue of contingent rights to be a matter deserving resolve. Questions still are being asked why is it that CARICOM citizens working and paying taxes like Barbadians in Barbados, and being allowed to vote, cannot access similar or certainly reasonable healthcare or other social services without attracting extra user fees? The fact is and has been documented by this writer, ‘without contingent rights, intra-regional migrant labour and the practicality of freedom of movement for categories of workers become hollow and discouraging’.

The fact that Miss Mottley is proactive after seeing the need to remove the discriminatory practice of less than satisfactory treatment to CARICOM’s immigrant workers and their dependants in Barbados, augurs well. The region can start being progressive in public policy while ironing out any difficulties that may exist in regional affairs. Thus, the following countries must be commended for their willingness to sign the protocol addressing the problematic feature of contingent rights. The countries are: Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

On a final note, congratulations and best wishes are for attorney and political activist David Comissiong on his appointment by Prime Minister Mottley as Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM. Hardly anyone would deny Mr. Comissiong’s knowledge and activities that are supportive of Caribbean civilization and the need for deeper functional cooperation among CARICOM’s member states. Comissiong’s intent, however, has similarly been misconstrued based on perceptions of his ideology. Ambassador Comissiong’s rejection of hegemonic behaviour and his strong preference for resilience to the encroachment of foreign political and economic forces should help to reinforce the view that in the region, unity and survival are important for the type of integrated development which benefits the region’s people. Barbados can be a pivotal actor in making CARICOM work for the prosperity of all the Caribbean people.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant.   Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com).

Influx of ‘foreigners’ Changing the Region

sexworkersThe following is an extract from a Yahoo T&T Group Forum BU is a member. It details a commentary on the rise across the Caribbean. In fact, a flavour of the commentary is playing out in the EU exacerbated by the refugee crisis. The old question is one the regionalist – and the ideologues – cannot ignore, the commitment by sovereigns to managing borders and ensuring quality of life for ‘locals’ by unbridled entry of people whether from the region or outside. It is unfortunate the most endowed economies in Caricom for example are responsible for exporting the most people to the other islands. Of concern is that many of the emigrants are unskilled and operate in the ‘exotic industry’. The Chinese have been effective in tagging Chinese labour to concessionary loans to beggar governments, the result, a growing local Chinese population.

Ordinarily people of the region should feel confident in the political leadership to guide our open societies through an uncertain period. It appears to BU we are currently being washed along in a current to nowhere. Those of us who express concern at the state of affairs are labelled as being xenophobic and jingoistic. Have we found those Nigerians who vanished a few years ago?

Apparently, only the Ministry of National Security and maybe some in government are not aware of the massive influx of Venezuelans and people of other nationalities into T&T (see Inshan’s FB post & Robin Montano’s blog post below). We all know of the Chinese invasion that continues unabated, with people who cannot speak English  and with apparently no resources, who land here today and tomorrow they are up and running businesses, with their work permit, nationalization papers, and staff. CASH is king so they want Cash, no credit card and lynx etc, except in rare cases. Why? you really don’t know why? And, if not collecting taxes, VAT etc from them are not enough, there is tremendous leakage of forex for remittances to their families etc. All this cannot happen unless some in authority are on the take.  Why is this allow to continue?

The government must immediately ramp up border patrols, interdiction, scanning at ports and points of entry, random patrols in coastal areas,  and do all we can to stop the flow of drugs, guns, and people into T&T.

Crime is reaching astronomical levels, gangs are roaming everywhere, murders are on the rise, tens of thousands of illegals are swamping the systems and resources of T&T and we behave as if it is hunky dory and all is well.  Things are getting worse in Venezuela with power cuts for much of the day in many areas, basic supplies running out and violence increasing. People are desperately trying to get out of that land or coming to T&T to trade, barters etc (what do you think they bring to barter & trade?). The easy availability of guns is the major reason for crime. Let’s tackle this problem, now, as a matter of national urgency. If  the current Ministers of National Security cannot do the job then the Prime Minister has to step in, maybe take control of that Ministry, manage & supervise the Ministers… or get people who can do a better job there.

Inshan S Ishmael

1 hr ·

 

I would like to place on Public record that if Immigration don’t get off their backsides and do something to stem the flow of Illegal Immigrants from Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Nigeria, China, India, venezuela, Jamaica and other Countries we will reap the whirlwind.. In fact it has already started….I was told by inside sources that over 50,000 Venezuelans have already landed….The laws MUST be changed, anyone providing accommodation to an Illegal Immigrant must be held accountable and charged..$ 100,000 minimum.

Case for a Federation

Submitted by The Barbados Lobby

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur Mr. Arthur’s recent view that the CSME needs to be scrapped

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur Mr. Arthur’s recent view that the CSME needs to be scrapped …

A few days ago in his column, Craig Harewood wrote an article entitled “How to get reparations for dummies.” He had a brilliant idea that instead of asking for reparations that the Caribbean Community

[…] Continue reading

CARICOM STOCK MARKET REVIEW 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

NEW LISTINGS AND DELISTINGS

There were a number of listings and De-Listings across the regional exchanges in 2012. On the Bahamas International Securities Exchange, Arawak Port Development was listed on April 23 2012. In Guyana, Rupununi Development Company Limited was listed on March 19 2012. In Jamaica, First Caribbean International Bank Jamaica, First Jamaica Investments Limited, Montego Freeport and Pegasus Hotels were De-listed, while on the main market Proven Investments was listed, and, Consolidated Bakeries, Paramount Trading Jamaica, C2W Music Limited and K. L.E. Group Limited were listed on the Junior Market. Supreme Ventures was De-listed from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 3 December to 7 December 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Keep It Simple.
Keeping it simple in investing is not stupid. Seventeenth-century philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.” This aptly describes the investing process. Those who trade too often, focus on irrelevant data points, or try to predict the unpredictable are likely to encounter some unpleasant surprises when investing. By keeping it simple–focusing on companies with economic moats, requiring a margin of safety when buying, and investing with a long-term horizon–you can greatly enhance your odds of success.

 

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 12 November to 16 November 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

Listen to Your Gut.
Any valuation model you may create for a company is only as good as the assumptions about the future that are put into it. If the output of a model does not make sense, then it’s worthwhile to double-check your projections and calculations. Use DCF valuation models (or any other valuation models) as guides, not oracles.

Know Your Friends, and Your Enemies.
What’s the short interest in a stock you are interested in? What mutual funds own the company, and what is the record of those fund managers? Does company management have “skin in the game” via a meaningful ownership stake? Have company insiders been selling or buying? At the margin, these are valuable pieces of collateral evidence for your investment thesis on a company.

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 5 November to 9 November 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

Prepare for the Situation to Proceed Faster than You Think.
Most deteriorating businesses will do so faster than you anticipate. Be very wary of value traps, or companies that look cheap but are generating little or no economic value. On the other hand, strong businesses with solid competitive advantages will often exceed your expectations. Have a very wide margin of safety with a troubled business, but do not be afraid to have a much smaller margin of safety for a wonderful business with a shareholder-friendly management team.

 Expect Surprises to Repeat
The first big positive surprise from a company is unlikely to be the last. Ditto the first big negative surprise. Remember the “cockroach theory.” Namely, the first cockroach you see is probably not the only one around; there are likely scores more that you can’t see.

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CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 22 October to 26 October 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Solid gains on manufacturing stocks drove the major Caribbean indices higher during the week ended October 26. For the week, 3,963,727 shares valued at $4,418,471 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 43 stocks advancing, 36 declining and 44 remaining unchanged. Caribbean Producers was the volume leader with 719,093 shares being traded, Ciboney posted the largest gain for the week (12.32%), while on the losing end, Caribbean Cement fell (10.16%).

For the week, thirteen of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, eleven declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 gained 2.79 points to close the week at 1,404.27, up 6.79% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Wibisco (5.47%), Mayberry (3.17%) and scotia Group Jamaica (1.59%). On the negative side, Caribbean Cement fell (10.16%), NCB Jamaica (6.08%),CW Jamaica (4.78%), Guardian Holdings (3.68%), Desnoe & Geddes (2.12%) and Grace Kennedy (1.17%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 24 September to 28 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

The weakness in Caribbean stock in 2012 continued as the major indices ended the week of September 28 lower.  The major indices were dragged down by losses on manufacturing and financial companies, however, there was some respite for investors on the Junior markets as that index ended the week in positive territory.  For the week,  22,767,153 shares  valued at $6,298,829 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 22 stocks advancing,  59 declining and 43 remaining  unchanged.  JMMB was again the volume leader with 14,556,430 shares being traded, C&W Jamaica posted the largest gain for the week (9.56%), while on the losing end, Bank of Nevis fell (23.53%).

For the week, six of the CSX 30 stocks advanced,  seventeen declined and seven were unchanged.  The CSX 30 lost 1.98 points to close the week at 1,388.18, up 5.57% year to date.    In the CSX 30 there were gains for CW Jamaica (9.56%), Carreras (1.26%) and Scotia Bank TT (1.01%).  On the negative side, Desnoe & Geddes fell (6.53%), Guardian Holdings (3.13%), Scotia Group Jamaica (1.73%) and Lascelles (1.28%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 17 September to 21 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

The recent rally on Caribbean stock markets was brought to an abrupt end as Caribbean stocks ended the week of September 21 lower. The major indices were dragged down by losses on financial companies. For the week, 20,196,651 shares valued at $7,156,122 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 40 stocks advancing, 42 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. JMMB was the volume leader with 4,952,245 shares being traded, Lasco Financial posted the largest gain for the week (16.60%), while on the losing end, Caribbean Cement Producers fell (15.30%).
For the week, twelve of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, twelve declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 lost 3.63 points to close the week at 1,390.16, up 5.72% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Desnoe & Geddes (9.50%), Mayberry (1.59%) and Lascelles (1.38%). On the negative side, Caribbean Cement fell (15.30%), Banks DIH (9.21%), CW Jamaica (8.55%), Guardian Holdings (3.46%), Scotia Group Jamaica (2.77%), and NCB Jamaica (2.34%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 3 September to 7 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI

Solid gains on Conglomerate, Manufacturing and Banking stocks saw the CSX 30 extend its rally from last week and end the week higher, while the Junior Market returned to negative territory. For the week, 8,325,163 shares valued at $3,230,566 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 41 stocks advancing, 39 declining and 44 remaining unchanged. Jamaica Money Market Brokers was again the volume leader with 1,284,631 shares being traded, Lascelles posted the largest gain for the week (32.69%), while on the losing end, Lasco Manufacturing fell (8.00%).

For the week, fourteen of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, ten declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 gained 23.83 points to close the week at 1,386.46, up 5.43% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Lascelles (32.69%), Scotia Group Jamaica (6.48%), CW Jamaica (4.54%), Desnoe & Geddes (3.94%), Grace Kennedy (3.72%), Republic Bank (2.37%), Ansa Mcal (1.44%) and NCB Jamaica (1.13%) and Neal & Massey (1.09%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 27 August to 31 August 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI

A broad based rally across most sectors, saw the major Caribbean Indices end the week of August 31 higher. For the week, 13,600,340 shares valued at $3,390,466 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 53 stocks advancing, 29 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. Jamaica Money Market Brokers was the volume leader with 3,358,996 shares being traded, Ciboney posted the largest gain for the week (49.94%), while on the losing end, Honey Bun fell (19.22%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 20 August to 24 August 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Losses on Retail and Distribution stocks resulted in the CSX 30 ending the week of August 24 lower, and the misery on the Junior Market increased further. For the week 14,152,805 valued at $2,828,445 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 22 stocks advancing, 60 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. Sagicor Life was the volume leader with 6,282,718 shares being traded, Gleaner posted the largest gain for the week (9.26%), while on the losing end, Pulse fell (21.47%).

For the week, eleven of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, thirteen declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 lost 1.13 points to close the week at 1,352.05, up 2.82% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Gleaner (9.26%), Guardian Holdings (2.54%), Desnoe & Geddes (2.45%), Caribbean Cement (1.93%) and NCB Jamaica (1.29%). On the losing end Grace Kennedy (6.58%), CW Jamaica (4.40%), Scotia Group Jamaica (3.63%), Carreras (3.59%) and Sagicor (1.26%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 23 to 27 July 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Caribbean stocks enjoyed one of their better weeks for the year, but there was continued weakness on the Junior market as those stocks appear to be in the throes of a major correction after the outstanding gains of 2011, as well as continued weakness in Tourism & Real Estate stocks.  For the week 53,071,332 valued at $2,972,824 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 47 stocks advancing,  32 declining and 45 remaining  unchanged.  Cable & Wireless Jamaica was the volume leader with 46, 087,467 shares being traded, Cable & Wireless Jamaica posted the largest gain for the week (14.88%),  while on the losing end, Gleaner fell (19.71%).

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